The Secret Language of the Heart by Barry Goldstein is a modest paperback book with a valuable message. Music is a more powerful healing tool than most of us realize. The book’s subtitle tells us the author’s purpose: How to Use Music, Sound, and Vibration as Tools for Healing and Personal Transformation.
In the Foreword, Dr. Joe Dispenza gives Barry Goldstein and his music high praise. Dispenza workshops teach people how to use meditation in creative healing ways to change themselves and their lives. According to Dispenza, Barry Goldstein is the “major orchestrator” of what happens to listeners during workshop meditations that may last from one to three hours. His live music provides the setting during which profound changes take place in the hearts, minds and brains of those listening.
Dispenza’s team of scientists has measured these changes in hundreds of people with their permission. Workshop attendees are hooked up to equipment that measures brain waves, heart rhythm, and energy fields. Attendees’ brain and heart functions improve during meditation. Their enhanced energy fields help produce healing change in their bodies in the process. Such changes can take place when their inner world becomes more real than their outer world. Dispenza credits Barry’s music with helping his workshop attendees achieve this kind of transformation.
Music is a Transcending Language
Music is a common chord that weaves through every culture. Goldstein calls it soul language that speaks to us “beyond reason, race, and religion.” Music communicates what words cannot, helping to integrate the “wisdom of our minds and the lessons of our heart.” Viewed in this way, music is more than art and entertainment. “It’s a powerful vehicle to transform us on the deepest level, from the inside out.”
Barry touches on music as art and entertainment, but moves beyond that to help us understand its potential to improve our health and quality of life. He says that music exists in our bodies – a gift never to be taken for granted. The sounds and vibrations of this gift are unique to each of us and have a special role in our health.
The Music Within
Our internal music is always with us. The heartbeat is like an internal drum. Just as the drums and rhythm section of an orchestra create its musical foundation, our heartbeat synchronizes our internal organs in their functions. Your heart is constantly singing a secret language to you, calling and sending out signals for you to listen, body, mind, and soul. If we truly listen to our heart, it can bring us to inner peace.
He goes on to say: “If the heart is our internal drummer, the breath is the conductor that leads this internal rhythm section. As we breathe in, we receive our life-force. As we exhale and sigh, we release negative emotions and stress. Each breath is a new opportunity to hear and develop a deeper relationship with our inner music.”
Barry connects the dots to show how this relates to physical health. Our autonomic nervous system has the vital job of regulating our internal body functions. We don’t have conscious control over this system, but we can influence it in a powerful way. With our breath, we can release stress and send peace signals to the rest of our body.
When Barry writes about using music to improve health, he emphasizes: “To get the full picture of health, we must look at the four-body system: the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Each has a unique role in our total health.” True transformation must come from the inside. Music that touches our heart and soul can do this. His purpose is to show us how we can access this potential.
The Heart Song Breathing Process
Barry teaches a simple exercise he calls the Heart Song Breathing Process. Done in a standing position, it involves taking deep breaths, visualizing each coming to the heart through the body, and then being exhaled with a powerful sigh to release stress. It’s a three-breath process that can be repeated several times to release negative energy and create harmony in the body. It doesn’t take long, and it’s something that can be repeated any time of day.
Although it’s a simple exercise, it has powerful beneficial effects. According to Goldstein, it can slow the heart rate, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, strengthen the immune system, help digestion, improve cognition, and decrease anxiety and depression. These are all significant healing influences. A nice feature is that it’s easy to carry out any time one wishes to relieve internal stress. It’s also a good way to express feelings of gratitude.
The Power of Music and Song
Building on the basic breathing exercise, remaining chapters in Part I deal with how to activate the heart’s intelligence with music, engage the brain with music, and use song as a vehicle for transformation. Several quotes from this section underline music’s power. “Songs move emotions, period.”
“When we hear a song that resonates within us, it is amplifying something within us that is already there and may need to be brought to the surface to explore, understand, and release from our heart. The song is a messenger from the soul, bringing awareness to these hidden emotions and blockages.”
“Songs move us beyond the mind and take us directly to the core of our soul. At this deep level we can transmute and transform limited beliefs and negative feelings and emotions. As we clean out emotions from our energetic closet that no longer serve us, we can truly begin to listen to our heart and unveil the gifts that we are here to share. We all have a song waiting to be sung.”
Part II shows us how to create and implement a daily music practice, while Part III provides musical prescriptions for health. These are based on the author’s experience in this field and on solid research showing the benefit of music therapy for a variety of health disorders. None of the musical prescriptions are intended to replace medical treatment plans, but they can provide strong support.
Even though I knew that music can be therapeutic, I found this book to be enlightening. Beyond research showing the benefits of music, the way the author relates music to the rhythms of nature is refreshing. From the vibrations of the spheres to the internal rhythms of our bodies, music is a harmonizing power. His emphasis on the value of harmonizing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and his analysis of the contribution of music to this process is wonderful.
Goldstein sums it up nicely in the preface of his book: “Each of our lives can be a beautiful song. The same principles that create this song can be utilized to create a magnificent life.”
Ed Dodge, MD, MPH
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This post was published first in Dr. Ed Dodge’s Wellness Newsletter, Volume VIII, No. 6 • June 11, 2016.